WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE
HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL ISSUES you should consider when choosing short-term insurance – gap cover or top up cover – to suit your pocket and health-risk profile.
Boshoff says that the first thing one should consider is the medical scheme option, any co-payments that may come with it, and how their provider networks are set up. “If you don’t have the means to cover the co-payments, if it hit you at an inopportune time, you may consider gap cover. If your specialist is on the network of the medical scheme, then a gap product will be of less value to you. You also need to consider the actual gap product and read through the fine print.”
Dilotsotlhe says that personal circumstance, such as premium affordability, lives covered, specialist charge versus cover level offered, Major Medical cover (that your option provides), income loss or expenses incurred (if you get hospitalised) would be important to consider.
Boshoff explains: “If prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs) are not covered by the short-term insurance product, you will have far less benefit from the product than you think you do, so ensure that PMBs are included.”
“Make sure that you understand what is in it for the broker, if he/she shares in the profit of the product (which is not possible with medical schemes), then chances are that you will be talked into something that you possibly don’t require, so then look a bit more closely,” says Boshoff.
Dilotsotlhe says that medical gap cover per month will cost between around R100 to R150. Boshoff adds that each product will have unique features so the pricing range depends very much on the benefits included. “Most insurers will give you a quote, so make sure that you do your homework before you buy and request quotes from a variety of insurers,” he cautions.